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Lobby group calls for supertax on private jets to boost public transport

A supertax on private jets should be introduced to fund public transport improvements, according to a pressure group.

Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) wants private jet passengers to pay £780 in air passenger duty (APD) for every flight from the UK.

That could raise around £1.4 billion each year, CBT said.

Currently, private jet passengers pay the same APD as business and first-class passengers on commercial flights, unless the aircraft weighs at least 20 tonnes and has fewer than 19 passengers onboard.

In the latter scenario an APD rate of £78 applies for short-haul flights, rising to £554 for flights of more than 2,000 miles.

CBT wants all private jet passengers to pay £780 regardless of the size or capacity of the aircraft.

It also called for VAT to be applied each time a private jet lands or takes off in the UK.

CBT director of external affairs Norman Baker said: “Private jets are hugely damaging to the environment and are the preserve of the super-rich.

“We think it’s about time that these individuals started paying for the damage their flights cause and the proceeds used to help improve public transport for communities up and down the country.”

Green group Transport and Environment says private jets are between five and 14 times more polluting per passenger than commercial flights.

An HM Treasury spokesperson said: “Since 2017, we have almost doubled transport spending to £27.1 billion to help strengthen road and rail connectivity, and from April 2023 Air Passenger Duty will be lower for commercial domestic flights to further bolster links within the UK.

“Larger private jets will not benefit from the new lower domestic duty, and they will also pay more from the new ultra long-haul band on international flights, which ensures that those who fly the furthest contribute the most.”